Branches
 
NE 
 ASTON
 04
6th
SW
SE
22 High Street, Aston, Birmingham 6
021-554 0726
A
1923
The branch was transferred to 22 High Street on December 1st 1919, and operated at first from the old shop premises. The increase in business was rapid (by early 1923, Aston was one of the most successful of the Bank's 27 branches, and had 5,700 depositors with 170,000 to their credit) requiring reconstruction work to be carried out. During the alterations (which doubled the size of the office), the branch was transferred to shop premises across the street. The extension of the branch's working area was achieved by taking down the partition wall between the bank and back sitting room, and also to alter the rear portion of the building so that the tenant could be satisfactorily housed. The alterations were of a temporary nature as it produced a narrow office with little natural light.
 
The formal opening of the reconstructed premises took place on February 17th 1923, in the presence of a large assembly, the ceremony being performed by Alderman W E Lovsey, JP. The architect overseeing the reconstruction was Gerald McMichael, and the branch's commemoration tablet was executed by Bronamel Signs Co., of Brearley Street, Birmingham. A number of deposits were made after the opening ceremony, with the first being made by "an old lady over seventy years of age".
 
Presiding at a meeting of some thirty ladies and gentlemen preceding the opening ceremony, held in the Christ Church Baptist Schoolroom, Six Ways, the Bank's Chairman, Councillor C T Appleby, expressed the fear that the new premises might be inadequate for the requirements of the Bank in the district.
 
Britain's First Municipal Savings Bank recorded what Alderman Lovsey had to say:
In his breezy way he told us we were making history that day, although he would not admit that Aston was without previous history. He referred to Aston Hall with its fine Tudor architecture, known throughout the length and breadth of the land; and he recounted the history of a certain lion hunt, which ended in the capture of the beast when it came in contact with a Corporation drain. In Aston, we also learned, the champion snorer, whose noise was said to resemble a human earthquake, was discovered. Independent of these records, Alderman Lovsey prophesised that the greatest historic event to be recorded in Aston would be the opening of that branch of the Municipal Bank. While being a great improvement on the previous accommodation, he thought the premises would prove too small for the thousands who would become depositors.
 
The predictions of Messrs Appleby and Lovsey proved to be correct. Business continued to grow rapidly, to the extent that, by 1923, regularly on Saturday evenings there were queues of people outside the door, waiting to make deposits. The growth of business over this period is illustrated by the following figures:
 
 
 
 
 
left:
The original reconstruction of 22 High Street that was officially opened February 17th 1923. The adjacent unit at 24 High Street that the Bank subsequently acquired is to the right of the photograph.
 
below:
The branch interior in 1923
left::
Aston branch after the incorporation of 24 High Street - July 29th 1925
below:
Interior views of the branch
 
 - following the 1925 extension (left)
 
 - after the third alteration to the branch, January 11th 1929 (right)
Located 1- miles north of Birmingham, Aston (or Aston Manor as it was also known) had a population of about 60,000 at the end of the 19th-century. This population was partly housed in well-built terraced houses, but many of the poor working-class lived in sub-standard back-to-back and tunnel-back houses. Birmingham's population in 1901 was 522,204 - ten years later, Aston was one of the districts that became part of Birmingham under the Greater Birmingham Act of 1911.
 
Six Ways (right) - the name of the road junction was derived from the fact that Birchfield Road, Lozells Road, High Street (Aston), Witton Road, Victoria Road, and Alma Street met here. This early 20th-Century photograph features an impressive branch of the Midland Bank that was located between Lozells Road, on the left, and Birchfield Road.
 
One of the six branches open on a daily basis from the Bank's commencement on September 1st 1919, Aston was at first located in a room at the council house in Albert Road, Aston. However, access to this room required depositors to mount a flight of steps and traverse a landing - an obvious disadvantage to attracting new customers. However, shop premises at  22 High Street soon became available. This new location (on the A34 main road leading out of Birmingham city centre towards Stafford), was close to the Six Ways junction.
 
Number of
Open Accounts 
 Number of
Transactions
Amount Deposited
Amount  Withdrawn
7 months ended 31 March 1920
2,144
8,946
38,708
6,698
6 months ended 30 September 1920
2,865
10,985
42,692
15,557
6 months ended 31 March 1921
3,415
11,971
39,816
16,016
6 months ended 30 September 1921
3,677
12,035
36,058
27,785
6 months ended 31 March 1922
4,287
13,983
39,053
23,839
6 months ended 30 September 1922
4,804
15,450
46,759
29,829
6 months ended 31 March 1923
6,095
20,941
69,174
26,685
6 months ended 30 September 1923
7,163
24,246
83,975
44,594
The Bank purchased the adjoining premises at 24 High Street, for 1,800, in 1924. The premises at number 24 comprised a shop, a dwelling house, and a small factory. Vacant possession of the shop and house was obtained immediately, but the factory was subject to a quarterly tenancy. Work on extending the branch to include number 24 took place that year, with the branch having to be closed on Wednesday, November 26th and Thursday November 27th, when the enlargement alterations reached a certain stage. The extended branch was completed in 1925, and further alterations were made in 1929.
 
The Six Ways junction was completely transformed by the construction of a roundabout and underpass in the 1960s, and the branch was closed in 1969, with the account balances being transferred to Aston Newtown.
 
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OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of 'Six Ways' Aston, a major road junction dating from the mid-nineteenth century. The above map shows the underpass built in the mid-1960s that effectively destroyed the commercial centre where the BMB's Aston branch was situated. The branch was closed in 1969.
Branch Managers:
1919 - E Cheatle
1921 - T R Hawkins
1926 - D W S Woodcock
1928 - H J Sutherland
1929 - F FitzPatrick
1930 - G A Harling
1931 - A N Ling
1934 - H J Sutherland

1958 - W K Robottom
1959 to 1961 - J C W Brown
1963 to 1969 - L F Dobson
Branch Deposit Balances at March 31st:
1926 - 466,912
1946 - 1,843,609
1947 - 1,906,041

Number of Open Accounts at March 31st:
1920 - 2,144
1927 - 13,200
1947 - 15,798

Average Weekly Transactions:
1920 - 328
1927 - 1,561

Total Annual Transactions - Year Ended March 31st 1947: 84,008
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